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E-ISSN : 2249 - 4642 | P-ISSN: 2454 - 4671
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THE EFFECTS OF INFORMAL QUARRYING ON PEOPLE’S HEALTH: A STUDY OF LUSAKA DISTRICT
Cecilia K Muchepa Muzyamba
Volume: 7 Issue: 1 2017
The construction sector in Zambia was leading by demand of the mining industry, shopping centres, infrastructure development, residential buildings, and offices. This growth contributed to informal quarrying in Lusaka. The quarrying is done in various areas within and around Lusaka. This study looked at the effects of quarrying on the health of the people of Lusaka who were directly involved in informal quarrying industry. The study had three objectives namely: to identify the quarrying sites, to examine the methods of extraction and processing of the quarry material and to establish the health risks and hazards of quarrying on the people. Lusaka is located at 150 25’ S and 280 17’ E in Lusaka Province. Lusaka District was chosen because of its geological landscape. There were a lot of strongly folded Precambrian metamorphic rocks which were truncated by the Mwembeshi dislocation. The study was qualitative with a sample size of 51 respondents. These were broken down as follows: Companies (20%), Transporters (23%), Stone crushers/traders (53%) and Key informants (04%). The results revealed that even though the quarry business was quite lucrative, the people were exposed to various risks and hazards. The risks were: accidents (21%), Lung cancer (20%), Body pains and backache (15%), physical injuries (49%), Respiratory infections (47%) and Sight impairment (9%). While the hazards were: disused quarries, used car tyres, noise and motor vehicle unfitness. Most of the respondents knew of the health implications considering that they quarried without any protective wear. But due to the fact that they got the most desired income and that it was good business more especially during the dry season, they continued against any odds. The Ministry of Minerals and Mines, The Zambia Environmental Management Authority (ZEMA) and Public Health Department of the Lusaka City Council should work together to regulate the activity. Behavioural health campaigns should be instituted in order to enhance health mining as this would reduce on the impact of quarrying on the health of the people.
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